Describing Baco Noir

phone pics spring summer 2015 112

Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, was the keynote speaker at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Corning, NY this past week-end. She is an inspiring speaker and had some very thoughtful advice for all of us bloggers in attendance. One thing she advised was that in order to improve our wine descriptions we had to think about what the wine is really like, and avoid comparing it to other wines. While that is an excellent exercise in improving one’s writing and observational skills, it isn’t always easy to do.

Baco Noir is a hybrid grape, a cross between two species, the Vitis vinifera, Folle Blanche and a grape from the North American species, Vitis riparia. It was first developed in 1894 by a Frenchman named Baco, and planted in Burgundy and the Loire Valley. It made its way to the US in 1951 and does especially well in cooler climates such as the Finger Lakes region of New York. It was there this past week-end that I was able to taste my first Baco Noir, a 2014 made by Americana Vineyards.

The wine was a deep red color with tart raspberry and dark cherry aromas carried along on smooth, soft tannins. It reminded me so much of a Beaujolais. I shouldn’t write what wine it reminds me of. I should let it stand on its own, and write what it is. But it reminded me of a Beaujolais, a well-done Beaujolais…at first light and fruity, with tart red raspberries bouncing from the glass, but then the darker fruit aromas emerged elegantly and pulled me back in to a deeper focus. That at once playfulness and pensiveness between the light and darker fruits was well-integrated and wrapped up together in a blanket of soft tannin…like a Beaujolais, I mean a Baco Noir, a well-done, Baco Noir.

Americana Vineyards is located at 4367 East Covert Road in Interlaken, NY on Cayuga Lake

The tasting room is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm

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2 comments on “Describing Baco Noir

  1. I’ve never had Baco Noir. I have had Beaujolais. Whether I like Beaujolais or not (for the record I do) I know what it tastes like; therefore, based on YOUR description I now have some understanding of Baco Noir. I think the BEST writing advice is to always be yourself. Cheers!

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